Laboratory Workers Share Passion for Running

WARE — Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Laboratory employees Tammy Grissom and Charlene Gryszawka not only work together, but provide support and motivation to each other inside and out of work.
Specifically, they are training to take part in different running events, and their choice to run has challenged them to become nutritionally smarter. The reward is an overall feeling of improved health and wellness.
Gryszawka, a phlebotomist, has been running for about a year using long-term goal setting as a motivator. Grissom, a medical laboratory technician, has participating in races for the past four years. She thrives on the challenge the running events present.
Gryszawka trains several days per week using various circuits such as running, strength training, and yoga. Both women say believing in themselves is a powerful motivating force, and both continue to motivate and encourage each other as they continue on their fitness journey.
“My daughter told me to just do it,” said Gryszawka. Grissom continues to use a running plan for beginners called the Couch-to-5K, a program available at the coolrunning.com website, and Gryszawka also used this running plan to begin her training.
Their commitment has resulted in several accomplishments; Gryszawka ran her first 5K while Grissom took part in a 12-woman relay race. “I never thought that I could run long distances,” said Grissom. “If I can do it, so can you!”
Gryszawka’s goals are to run several 5Ks this year and complete at least one 10K by the year’s end. Grissom is currently training for the Providence, R.I. marathon scheduled to take place in May, and the 20-mile Black Cat Road Race in Salem.
They and other laboratory professionals work behind the scenes, performing life-saving blood and body-fluid analysis every day. They play a vital role in monitoring physiologic functions.
Baystate Mary Lane’s Laboratory Department, located on the first floor of the hospital, is a full-service laboratory that currently processes more than 240,000 tests per year. The Laboratory is CAP (College of American Pathologists) accredited, a distinction that denotes acknowledgment of excellence.

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